Integrity 20: When China Rules the World


Yi Wang – photo by Faith Stolz

If someone asked you right now, which country is the world’s dominant economic power, what would your answer be?  

The United States of America? For a very long time, the answer would have been a definite yes.  

However, over the past 20 years, another strong nation has risen so intensely that most experts agree it could overtake the US. 

Which nation is that? China. 

The panel named When China rules the world took over Griffith University’s Integrity 20 at the Queensland Conservatorium. 

The panel, moderated by political editor Peter Van Onselen, featured essayist, translator and sinologist Linda Jaivin, award-winning journalist Richard McGregor, and scholar and author Yi Wang.  

Together they discussed what the world’s future with China in charge would potentially look like, the moral implications of its rise and the challenges faced as an international community. 

The panel explored trade, relations with the US, and Australia’s place amongst it all. 

When asked by Mr Van Onselen if Australia would ever need to decide between America or China, Mr McGregor said, “We’ve already chosen. We’ve chosen the US.”  

Linda Jaivin said Chinese leader Xi Jinping is trying to make the Chinese have one singular voice to create a “unified narrative” but in what is a heterogeneous place, the reality is that voices are being silenced. 

She continued to say how those silenced voices included people speaking on significant universal issues such as feminism.  

Yi Wang said China is ageing and the time of the single child generation is approaching soon, and will become a big concern for the nation. 

The experts agreed that China wants not only to regulate what is said about the country within its borders, but throughout the world. 

Mr Wang said when it comes to foreign relations, communication is very important and can be advantageous for whoever makes the most of it. 

 “There seems to be more knowledge on the West than the other way around,” Mr Wang said. 

Richard McGregor photo by Monique Pueblos

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